Synonym Chooser

How does the verb extirpate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of extirpate are eradicate, exterminate, and uproot. While all these words mean "to effect the destruction or abolition of something," extirpate implies extinction of a race, family, species, or sometimes an idea or doctrine by destruction or removal of its means of propagation.

many species have been extirpated from the area

When is eradicate a more appropriate choice than extirpate?

Although the words eradicate and extirpate have much in common, eradicate implies the driving out or elimination of something that has established itself.

a campaign to eradicate illiteracy

When would exterminate be a good substitute for extirpate?

While in some cases nearly identical to extirpate, exterminate implies complete and immediate extinction by killing off all individuals.

exterminate cockroaches

When can uproot be used instead of extirpate?

The words uproot and extirpate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, uproot implies a forcible or violent removal and stresses displacement or dislodgment rather than immediate destruction.

the war uprooted thousands


Thesaurus Entries Near extirpate

Cite this Entry

“Extirpate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/extirpate. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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